POSSIBLY the best aspect of the cooler months is the hearty and warming foods we get to enjoy.

Slow-cooking is one of the easiest ways to get the most flavour out of your dishes, there is very little preparation involved, and nothing beats coming home on a dark winter’s night to dinner that is already cooked, and the aroma filling the house.

Lamb and pearl barley is a classic combination that goes so well in a slow-cooker.

The richness of the lamb, and nutty texture of the barley, served with hearty seasonal vegetables is sure to warm the coldest of bellies this winter.

To adapt this recipe to gluten-free, replace the barley with rice, rinse well then place in during the last two hours of cooking time.

Slow-cooked lamb and barley stew

Ingredients:

500g lamb shoulder
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
175g short cut bacon
2 carrots peeled and diced
1 large brown onion diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 litre of chicken stock
400g diced tomatos
1/3 cup pearl barley rinsed in water
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in frypan and add bacon, carrot, onion and garlic, fry until golden and tender.
  2. Remove contents from pan and brown the lamb in batches.
  3. Place lamb and vegetables in slow-cooker, and remaining ingredients.
  4. Place lid on slow-cooker and place on high for four hours.
  5. Serve with seasonal green vegetables.